Using Subheadings

Subheadings are helpful for readers who are trying to digest large quantities of text. The subheadings should provide signposts which summarise the contents of the sections which follow. Try to use informative and/or positive titles such as ’24 Week Programme with 10% Contingency’ or ‘Experienced Project Team’.

Looking Good

Some tender formats can be very prescriptive as they dictate the space, font size and typeface that can be used. To avoid your answer becoming a ‘wall of words’, try to be creative with the inclusion of tables, jpeg images and bullet points. If the formatting prevents the use of these graphics, you can still … Read more..

What is Concise?

We all know that long-winded and rambling responses are not going to score well. Evaluators like succinct, well-structured answers that describe the service or process and the benefit it will deliver along with addressing any possible concerns they may have. To do this you must provide adequate detail and not over-condense a response so that … Read more..

Language and Tone

The words you use when writing a bid will result in a certain impression being created when it is read. Factually identical statements can be expressed in different ways so select the one which meets your objective. For example, will your telephone helpline “remain open until 8pm every night” or will it “close at 8pm … Read more..


Good use of paragraphs will help improve the readability of your writing. Remember that each paragraph should contain information about one topic; multiple topics will require multiple paragraphs. The length of the paragraphs will vary but shorter ones tend to be easier to read than longer ones, particularly when they contain detailed information.

The 12 Days of Christmas

My colleague gave to me: Twelve apostrophes that possess Eleven proper hyphens Ten unsplit infinitives Nine Oxford commas Eight proofread pages Seven corrected typos Six unneeded words deleted Five style books! Four participles that don’t dangle Three grammar rules Two subject/verb agreements And the proper use of “I” versus “me.” (credit Stern + Associates)

Word Count

When you are given a word count, ensure your response does not exceed it or stretch the limit. Some evaluators will simply disregard any material over the limit but others will consider your response to be non-compliant and penalise you. Words within images are not usually counted. However, if you opt to insert detailed tables … Read more..

Short and Sweet

Long sentences are difficult to read and readers have to work hard to understand their meaning. To help readability and increase the impact of your messages, break sentences into bite-sized ideas.  Delete anything that is not essential. Bullet points are a very effective way of making key points stand out.